Well gents and ladies, it is time to post our individual Cigar of the Year 2014 lists! This year I decided to stay at 20, as honestly I had a ton of graet smokes that I truly loved this year. Some were reviewed, some were not, and I am only posting pictures for the first five. Really the majority of this list was released in 2013 or 2014, as it truly does take forever to get to all samples and cigars I buy. So without further adieu my Cigar of the Year 2014 is…
I loved this cigar from the first time I smoked, and every time after, specifically in this vitola. Over time, it seems to be hit and miss with some palates, but to me I get the same experience with the Senorial as I do with Opus X. Complexity, power, strength, finish, and distinct changes are why I chose this as my favorite release and bought a box instantly. Oddly enough, they make me a little nic sick when I smoke them, even if I eat a huge meal, which is why I am so in love with it. Every time I grab this cigar, I sit back, relax, and enjoy myself. I cannot ask for more. It is a bit strong for my tastes, so I cannot wait to see what aging does to this blend for my palate. Group Review.
2. Matilde Renacer Corona
It was hard chosing between the Renacer and the Senorial, and I actually think more folks will like the Renacer. To me the Renacer embodies everything I look for in a cigar, with finish, rich full flavor, medium body, and a touch of excellence. I knew right away when I smoked one I was in love, and bought a box as soon as I found one. As a lover of all things Dominican, the Renacer is a go to stick for me, and I smoke them often. Review Here
3. Regius USA Exclusivo Pressed Perfecto
On my Top New Releases, I rated the lancero as the top release, and not the perfecto. The reason why, is I think the lancero is better suited for more palates in the modern vein of blending. However, the perfecto is the one I love, even though it is a tad strong for my tastes fresh. The key is the double cap, which traps the ammonia in and dramatically changes the aging. Once I let these rest a few months, I was very impressed, and bought half a box. Review of the Lancero
4. Syndicato Affinity Robusto or Corona
The President of the Conny 4 Life club is checking in and giving love to Connecticut wrapped cigars again. I got a couple of these in Robusto and Corona at IPCPR and fell in love instantly. Since the show, the next few blew my mind, and the Affinity has solidified itself in my mind, as my second favorite Connecticut with coffee behind the Avo Classic. Review of the Robusto here, I've since fell in love with the corona.
5. Hirochi Robaina Sublimes
Cubanacan teamed up with Hirochi Robaina to produce one of the finest examples of rich Nicaraguan tobacco I have experienced. The HR is a molasses bomb, and full of rich dark flavors that will have you burning your finger tips for almost three hours of bliss. When Coop, Tuna, Logan, and Catfish agree...BUYNOW. Review Here.
6. Total Flame FTW Toro
The FTW by Total Flame was one of those, what the hell is this cigars, that blew my mind and immediately started a search for more, as well as a campaign to get them in the store. No wonder Blind Man’s Puff gave it the highest blind score on their site at 95. I had Jerad track down a ten pack, and got more after the fact. This would rate 94 with me now based on our current rating scale. Another fine example of rich, nutty, medium body, full flavored Nicaraguan goodness. Review Here.
7. Ortega Black Robusto
When you smoke 15-20 cigars in a day, it is rare for a cigar to creep through the billows of smoke and stand out. That’s exactly what the Ortega D Black did for me at IPCPR, enough to beg for more samples to review. Eddie knocked another homerun out of the park with the Black, and I will be adding a box to my humidor just like the D Maduro. Group Review Here.
8. Wilson Adams Sumatra Robusto
I hate Sumatra cigars, but for some reason this one stood out the second I smoked it. I had the chance to sit down with Akhil Kapacee and Brandon Wilson as they drove through town and stopped by my shop. Brandon handed me one, and within the first inch, I immediately started asking to trade or buy more. Normally I hate Sumatra wrapped cigars, but this one from Wilson Adams takes the cake. Review Here.
9. Regius Damaris Gran Toro
As soon as the Damaris is released in a smaller vitola, I will buy a box, and if it had been, I would have ranked it higher. This may be my favorite maduro of all time. The blend is so mild, the San Andreas wrapper stands out and compliments the rich flavors Regius is known for. MAKE IT IN A DAMN ROBUSTO ALREADY PLEASE AND THANK YOU =). Review Here.
10. Nomad Connecticut Fuerte Robusto
Another Connecticut cigar that stood out immediately to me and had me wanting more. So many times people blend Connecticuts and get it all wrong, blending for strength on a mild cigar, and not balance. Fred Rewey got it right here, where so many get it wrong. The Fuerte has balance, flavor, body, and finish that not many Connecticuts can compete with. Two Conny's in the top 10? That's right b******, oh wait, there's more... Sharing our Pairing Review Here.
11. Nat Sherman Epoca Breva Corona
The third Connecticut on my list, the Epoca intrigued me from the second I had heard about it, as I always enjoyed Nat Sherman releases. The Epoca emobides the vibe of vintage cigars, with enough ligero to tickle the tongue, and a floral note that drove me nuts. There is a reason why this cigar is making everyone's list. The only thing holding me back from buying a ton is price, but who can complain when the Epoca delivers. Sharing our Pairing Review Here.
12. Chinnock Cellars Terroir Torpedo
I swear the Terrior was one cigar you could have fooled me was a Cuban, and that does not happen often, if at all. I absolutely loved this cigar, I just wish it was priced a few bucks cheaper. At twelve bucks a stick, I cannot smoke these as regularly as I would like, but I love it. Review Here.
13. Atabey Sabios
Talk about a wow cigar…. The Atabey is the best cigar on this list, but the price is the worst. I cannot justify spending $25-30 on a cigar often, but man, the Atabey is so good it is hard not to. I need to find a dealer I can beg for 20% off. This is seriously one of the best Non-Cuban cigars ever made in my opinion, price keeps it in five pack and singles range though. IPCPR Feature.
14. Curivari Seleccion Privada Maduro Eminentes
I think it is impossible for me to have a top cigar list without including a Curivari. I bought a box and more of this vitola, as the Seleccion Privada was in my list last year, and the maduro this year. Smooth, long finish, dark notes, all make for a wonderful medium bodied full flavored experience. I remember sharing one with a well known blender and his reaction was, what the hell is this. ***No review, just trust me.***
15. Curivari Achilles Heroicos
Damnit Curivari, why do you continue to haunt my wallet. I will be buying a box of these very soon and reviewing accordingly. This was a release last year, but I never got around to it until this year. When I did, I was sad I was not reviewing it, and knew I needed a box. Medium, creamy, nutty, flavor bomb and a Nicaraguan gem. ***No review, buy this without question.***
16. Bodega Digestivo Double Robusto
I am such a wus when ti comes to maduros. I was very impressed with the Apperitivo earlier this year when I reviewed it, but the Digestivo I stayed away from, as I normally do not like maduro. However, G handed me a couple at IPCPR and something stood out. Every time I lit one up, I've been impressed, and the flavor cut through a palate burnt out on 15-20 cigars a day. I did not review it when I returned since we had reviewed it a while back, but looking at it now, this would have rated in the 90’s. Medium body and full flavor, this is a maduro I can turn to at any time and enjoy, and have since bought more in this size. ***No review, as we do not do duplicates, my score would be 93.***
17. Jameson Black Label Corona
Oh man, I love me some Jameson cigars, and the black label was instant love. I love Brazilian maduros when blended without spice, and the Jameson Black is just that. Smooth black licorice notes, sweet, balanced, and flavorful. Review Here.
18. D’Crossier Forte Genio
I had to put a D’Crossier cigar on my list, simply because they are so damn good. Of the three I smoked, the Forte was the best hands down. I see why Surgeon loved it so much, and I recommended this brand immediately to my shop owner. No brainer if you see them, buy D’Crossier. Santana is doing something special in Costa Rica. ***No review from me, here is Surgeon's: Review Here.
19. Arandoza Blue Robusto
This was one of those cigars that stood out to me based on the blending. I cannot say I am a huge fan of the cigar, I just really appreciated the balance of flavor. The Arandoza Blue embodies everything Nicaraguan tobacco has to offer. You get spice, richness, nutty flavor, creamy, coffee, and anything else I associate with tobacco from the region. I highly recommend this cigar. Review Here.
20. CAO Brazilia Amazon Basin Toro
The Amazon Basin was the coolest new cigar I smoked, and I have to include it, simply for how odd it is. The flavor is different from anything else on the market. I think John called it a raisin bomb, and rightfully so. Group Review Here.
Keep in mind, cigars are subjective, and this list is based off a mild loving Connecticut fan Habanos smoking whore. I do not smoke spicy cigars, nor many maduros, so take this list as recommendations for cigars in that vein. In other words, smoke what you like, and if you like what I do, you might like some of these. Here is to 2015, I am already planning my list out now!